Best transactions of the Mike Elias era in Baltimore

On November 16, 2018, the Baltimore Orioles signed Mike Elias to fill their general manager position. Elias just finished a six-year term with the Houston Astros, one that saw consistent success.

Since Elias has been the GM in Baltimore, he has taken a team that only won 54 games in 2019 and turned it around in three years to be a team over .500. The turnaround was big, but Elias has done so much for the Orioles in his three seasons here that I decided to break down the five best transactions that Elias has made in his term with the Orioles.

Without further ado, let’s dive right in.


Elias might be one of the best drafters in MLB today. He’s overlooked the 2019-2022 drafts and selected some of the top prospects and players in baseball. Elias drafted names like such as:

  • 2019 Draft – Adley Rutschman, Gunnar Henderson, Kyle Stowers, Joey Ortiz
  • 2020 Draft – Heston Kjerstad, Coby Mayo, Jordan Westburg
  • 2021 Draft – Colton Cowser, Connor Norby, Creed Willems
  • 2022 Draft – Jackson Holliday, Jud Fabian, Dylan Beavers

Elias has also drafted many others that have been dominant in the minors through the 2023 season. His drafting skills are impeccable, as he always finds a way for us to have depth on the farm.


On August 5, 2021, the Orioles claimed Jorge Mateo off waivers from the San Diego Padres. Since then, Mateo has been an absolute superstar defensively at shortstop, and his bat has only been growing.

As an Oriole, Mateo has 170 total hits, 38 doubles, eight triples, 21 home runs and 80 RBIs. He also has gone 54-68 in stolen bases.

Mateo has also flashed the leather in orange and black. He finished the 2022 season fourth in defensive WAR, first in assists at short with 417 and second in putouts with 181. Plus, He has also been second in range factor through nine innings at shortstop the past two seasons.


On August 2, 2022, the Orioles decided to trade 2022 All-Star Jorge López to the Minnesota Twins. At the time, most people were confused about the trade and thought the Orioles had made a poor decision. Looking back at the trade, believe it or not, the O’s won it.

The Orioles, in the trade, received pitchers Juan Nunez, Cade Povich, Juan Rojas and Yennier Canó. Rojas has yet to pitch in 2023, as he is a part of the O’s rookie ball team. He did pitch 8.2 innings of four-hit baseball in 2022, but Rojas is currently on the 60-day IL.

Juan Nunez is currently with Low-A Delmarva and has been putting on a show. In his seven games, he has started six of them, has a 2.73 ERA, pitched 29.2 innings, has a 1.14 WHIP and a K/9 of 9.1.

Cade Povich has been spending his 2023 season with Double-A Bowie, and if you have been reading our recaps, you would understand how dominant he has been. The young lefty has a 3-3 record with a 3.82 ERA in 30.2 innings pitched. He carries a 1.23 WHIP and a K/9 of 14.1.

The final piece is Yennier Canó, who is arguably the best reliever in baseball currently. Canó has pitched 23.2 innings, only giving up seven hits and giving up just a single run. Need I say more on why we won the trade?


Does this sound familiar in recent history? Yes, because a piece of this trade actually just pitched against his former organization.

On December 4, 2019, The Orioles traded Dylan Bundy for a mix of pitching prospects. Now, while this trade was hit and miss to begin with, it’s safe to say that we are 2-for-2 in trades during the Elias ERA.

Since being traded, Bundy has put together a 16-20 record in 63 games and carries a 4.89 ERA in 296.1 innings pitched. He has an 87 ERA+, 1.24 WHIP and a FIP of 4.54. Oh, and he is also currently not only in the Mets Triple-A affiliate, but he just got tossed this past week against the Tides after umpires checked his glove.

The Orioles received Kyle Brnovich, Zach Peek, Isaac Mattson and Kyle Bradish. Mattson played with the Orioles in 2021 and struggled. He currently plays for the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs in the Atlantic League.

Brnovich and Peek are currently on the 60-day IL. But Kyle Bradish has been holding this trade up.

Bradish was called up early in the 2022 season, and since his debut, has showed impressive signs on the mound. Bradish has a 6-8 record with a 4.68 ERA in 30 starts in his career.

He has 150 inning pitched under his belt, an ERA+ of 86, WHIP of 1.38 and a FIP of 4.41. He had a rocky start to the 2022 season, but in 2023, he has been solid.


On December 2, 2020, José Iglesias was traded to the LA Angels for minor league pitching prospects Jean Pinto and Garrett Stallings. Iglesias had an insane time with the Orioles in the 2020 season, putting together a .373 average and an OPS of .956 in just 39 games.

In his last two years, Iglesias has played with three different teams and put together a .281/.318/.386 slash line with a .704 OPS in 255 games.

Jean Pinto’s 2023 season with Aberdeen has been nothing less than fantastic. He carries a 2.08 ERA in seven starts this season,30.1 innings pitched, and has a WHIP just above one and a K/9 of 14.5.

Garrett Stallings has spent his 2023 season in Bowie, and despite not having a great season thus far, he has been a big part of the pitching staff for the Baysox. He has a 5.97 ERA in seven games and in 28.2 innings pitched. Stallings has a 1.25 WHIP and a K/ 9 of 8.2.

One thing about Stallings is that he brings so much morale to the team. When attending games, Stallings does not miss a beat to entertain fans, sign autographs and just have a full-on good time whether he is pitching or not.

Obviously, there are other moves that Elias has made that have impacted the team, retrieving names like Ramón Urías, Cionel Pérez and Tyler Wells. Also, his impact on the international free agency market has been impressive and much-needed.

All in all, we see that Mike Elias has really turned this organization around in a short amount of time and is one of the top GMs in MLB today.

What has been your favorite Mike Elias transaction? Let us know in the comments below! Make sure to follow The Baltimore Battery on Facebook, Twitter and TikTok, and use the hashtag #baltimorebattery when sharing our content!

Like Zack’s content? Follow him on Twitter – @Zackattack8211

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